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MAZDA FINISHES FIRST AT MOSPORT, EYES MANUFACTURER’S POINTS TITLE
Aug 19, 2002
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - The Tri-Point Motorsports MAZDASPEED Protegé driven by Paul Bonaccorsi raced to a first place win yesterday in the SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario. The win marks Mazda's second consecutive Touring Car victory, and its third in the last four races.
Bonaccorsi, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., began the race in the second position, but piloted his MAZDASPEED entry to the podium's highest point to earn his second career title. Chuck Hemmingson, who claimed the previous race for Mazda earlier this month at Trois-Rivieres, finished fourth.
"I thought I might be back on the podium, and when I took the lead, there was really no one behind me," said Bonaccorsi. "I'm ecstatic to get a second win this year. I got around turn five great and caught Will [Turner]. When he gave me room, I was able to get past."
With Sunday's win, Mazda vaulted into the second-place spot in the manufacturer's points standings, and with three races left in the season, Mazda will look to gain even more ground on points-leader, BMW, at next month's race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Bonaccorsi's victory was one of many strong finishes for Mazda and its SCCA SPEED World Challenge program, which has been enjoying a run of success all season long with a customized, high-performance, race-ready engine uniformly developed for the Mazda Protegés competing in the series.
"The tremendous efforts of the entire Tri-Point Motorsports team are really being showcased on the track," said Steve Sanders, manager of MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. "I'm elated for the entire Tri-Point Motorsports family and for Paul Bonaccorsi."
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.